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Library services and COVID-19: Home

Key information

autumn leaves

We are pleased to welcome University of Southampton staff and students back to our libraries for studying and browsing. You will notice some changes: study spaces and browsing slots must be prebooked and we have new measures in place to keep you safe. 

Page last checked or updated: 24/11/20

Recent updates: vacation opening times added

Southampton COVID-19 Testing Programme: after 2pm on Friday, 6th November, the Students’ Union drop off point will move to the Hartley Library cafe area. You do not need to book to drop off your sample, and spare test packs will be available here for when you run out.

Term time opening hours started on 28th September:

  • Hartley Library: Monday - Friday 08:00-midnight; Saturday - Sunday 09:00-17:00
  • Health Services Library: Monday - Friday 08:00-18:00; Saturday - Sunday 11:00-15:00
  • Winchester School of Art Library: Monday - Friday 09:00-19:00; Saturday 10:00-16:00; Sunday closed
  • The National Oceanographic Library is open for Click & Collect only: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30-14:00. You will receive an email confirmation when your requested books are available to collect from the Seminar Room on Level 4 of the National Oceanography Centre. Returns can be dropped off in the returns box outside the Seminar Room.

Vacation opening hours begin on 13th December, term time opening resumes on 4th January. Please note that study spaces and Browse & Borrow must still be prebooked during vacation.

Hartley Library

  • 13th December - 22nd December 09:00-17:00
  • 23rd December - 27th December: closed
  • 28th December - 31st December: 11:00-15:00
  • 1st January - 3rd January: closed

Health Services Library

  • 13th December - 22nd December: Monday-Friday 08:00-18:00; Saturday-Sunday 11:00-15:00
  • 23rd December: 11:00-15:00
  • 24th December - 27th December: closed
  • 28th December - 31st December: 11:00-15:00
  • 1st January - 3rd January: closed

Winchester School of Art Library

  • 13th December - 22nd December: Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00; Saturday 10:00-16:00; Sunday closed
  • 23rd December - 3rd January: closed

We have taken the decision with the Faculty of Humanities for the Avenue Library & Learning Commons to remain closed. It is guided by the need to make additional short-term space available for teaching and learning, and difficulties ensuring the Library & Learning Commons would be COVID-secure for staff and students. 

Studying in the Libraries:  Prebook a study space. Study spaces are two metres apart and cleaning materials will be provided. Prebooking ensures fair use and guarantees you a seat while we have reduced study space capacity with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Please note that from 5th November 2020 face coverings must be worn at all times in the libraries. The computer workstation rooms within the libraries remain closed, but some bookable PCs will be available. For all of our libraries, if you are nearing the end of your booked time slot you can stay for longer if there are available spaces. Please make an additional booking so that we can monitor capacity.  

Hartley Library: you can book a three hour study spot per person per day on Level 5 or a two hour slot per person per day for the Assistive Technology Suite and Level 4. All other areas of Hartley Library are bookable for one hour per person per day

Health Services Library: you can book multiple one hour slots per day.

Winchester School of Art Library: you have the choice of booking a slot for one hour in Library 1 or slots for two hours in Library 2.

Study space across campus: find out the main areas available for independent study, including opening times, availability of PCs and if you need to book.

Browse & Borrow: Prebook a timeslot to select books from the shelves at Hartley, the Health Services Library or Winchester School of Art Library, then use the self-issue machine.

Click & Collect: You can continue to use our Click & Collect service using the Place Hold option in our catalogue, WebCat, to reserve books from any of our libraries. When you have received the notification email, you can collect your books within 7 days any time the libraries are open, using the self issue machines to add the books to your library account. You can choose to collect your books from Hartley, the Health Service Library, the National Oceanographic Library or Winchester School of Art Library. You can still borrow books and DVDs from the Library & Learning Commons, but you will need to collect them from one of our other libraries.

Book returns: You can return books to the Hartley book returns letterbox, the red box outside the Health Services Library and the trolley inside the Winchester School of Art Library entrance. Books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being removed from your account so please do not worry if the book still shows on your Library record for that time. We do not charge fines, and you will be able to take out more books.

We have been working hard to put measures in place to ensure safe use of our libraries, including:  

  •          Hand sanitisers at library entrances and increased cleaning
  •          Limited occupancy with prebooked study spaces to enable social distancing 
  •          Test & trace system 
  •          Perspex screens at service desks 
  •          A one-way route around the library to avoid congestion 
  •          A quarantine system for returned items 

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Library. Please contact us if you have any questions.  

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Hartley Library, the Health Services Library and the Winchester School of Art (WSA) Library are open to current University staff and students, and NHS Trust staff. All study space and browsing for books must be prebooked and the confirmation email shown on arrival.

Study space and Browse & Borrow can be booked at https://library.soton.ac.uk/bookings

Please note that from 5th November 2020 face coverings must be worn at all times in the libraries.

Study spaces are available at Hartley, the Health Services Library and Winchester School of Art Library: at Hartley Library you can book a three hour study spot per person per day on Level 5 or a two hour slot per person per day for the Assistive Technology Suite and Level 4. All other areas of Hartley Library are bookable for one hour per person per day. You can book multiple one hour slots per day at Health Services Library. At Winchester School of Art Library you can book one hour per day in Library 1, or two hours in Library 2. Prebooking ensures fair use and guarantees you a seat while we have reduced study space capacity with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

For all of our libraries, if you are nearing the end of your booked time slot you can stay for longer if there are available spaces. Please make an additional booking so that we can monitor capacity.

You can view WSA special collections (artists' books, zines, historic journals, Knitting Reference Library and WSA Archive) by booking a study slot, and emailing us in advance with a list of the items you would like to use.

Visitors to the Archives will be asked to show the email confirmation of their booking at the Library entrance.

The National Oceanographic Library is currently closed except for Click & Collect, please contact libenqs@soton.ac.uk with any questions.

The Avenue Library & Learning Commons will remain closed until January 2021. This decision was guided by the need to make additional short-term space available for teaching and learning, and difficulties ensuring the Library & Learning Commons would be COVID-secure for staff and students. Please use the Place Hold option in WebCat to request items for collection at Hartley.

Social distancing measures mean that our libraries have reduced capacity and we regret that we are unable to offer access to the libraries for members of the public, including sixth form students, external borrowers and SCONUL Access users. We will update this page when visitor access resumes.

Please contact libenqs@soton.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Social distancing measures mean that our libraries have reduced capacity and we regret that we are unable to offer access to the libraries for alumni, members of the public (including sixth form students), external borrowers and SCONUL Access users. We will update this page when visitor access resumes.

You are welcome to bring hot and cold covered drinks to your prebooked study space. You may also eat cold food at your prebooked study space in Hartley and the Health Services Library.

The water bottle fillers on each level at Hartley Library are in use.

The Hartley Library microwaves are not available.

The Library Café in Hartley will be open for takeaway food and drink from 21st September. You can access the cafe without needing a Library booking.

Click & Collect: collecting books without a booked timeslot

You can request books available in the libraries using the Place Hold option in WebCat: login to WebCat, and search for the book you need. If there is a list of results, select the record for the appropriate book and click Place Hold (on the left of the screen). Books from the Avenue Library & Learning Commons can be collected from Hartley.

We will let you know by email when your book(s) are ready and you can collect them when the library is open. You must receive the confirmation email before you come to collect your books. Books must be collected within 7 days of the confirmation email being received. Please bring your University ID card to issue the books on the self-issue machines and remember that face coverings must be worn.

You will not have access to study space in the libraries, or to browse for books when using Click & Collect.

Browse & Borrow

Prebook a timeslot at Hartley, the Health Services Library or Winchester School of Art Library to select books from the shelves, then use the self-issue machine to add them to your library account.

You will not have access to study space if you have a Browse & Borrow timeslot.

Requesting books

Please use the Place Hold option in WebCat to request books that are currently on loan to other users.

Use our interlibrary loan service to request books, journal articles or other material that we do not have in our collections. Please email libenqs@soton.ac.uk to make book purchase suggestions.

You can return books to the Hartley book returns letterbox, the red box outside the Health Services Library and the trolley inside the Winchester School of Art Library entrance. It may take a few days before the books are removed from your library account.

Books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being removed from your account so please do not worry if the book still shows on your Library record for that time. We do not charge fines, and you will be able to take out more books.

We have a list of the main independent study spaces across campus, including opening times, availability of PCs and if the spaces need to be booked in advance.

The library group study rooms are not currently available because ventilation issues mean they cannot be made COVID-secure.

Your Subject Guide lists key resources, including databases to search for journal articles and WebCat, our library catalogue.

Our PressReader subscription gives you access to over 7,000 newspapers and magazines from the UK and around the world.

See our Using your online Library webpages.

The university uses the Eduroam wifi.

The computer workstation rooms in Hartley are not currently available.

Prebooked PCs are available at each library site using our booking form and many of the study spaces in the libraries have power sockets for you to charge laptops.

We will be operating a laptop loan service later in the academic year.

Printers (also known as Multi-Functional Devices, MFDs as they also scan and photocopy) are available in the Hartley Library and Health Services Library. MFDs at Winchester School of Art are available in the Rotunda and Graphic Arts, Eastside 3021.

MFDs in the libraries are only available for staff and students who are in the library for a prebooked study space or Browse & Borrow timeslot.

For more information on printing, including adding money to your account and the location of other MFDs on Highfield campus, please see the iSolutions printing for students page.

IT help is available from the iSolutions Serviceline team.

Enabling Services provide support for student with disabilities, mental health conditions or specific learning difficulties.

The Assistive Technology (AT) Suite is the main area for assistive technology facilities within the University. It is located at Highfield Campus in Hartley Library (Level 2, Room 2047) and is available during normal library opening hours. Students who would like to access the AT Suite will need to make a booking in advance.

The Hartley Library lift is not currently available to students but we have bookable study spaces on the entrance level (level 2) for students who find using the stairs difficult. Please contact libenqs@soton.ac.uk if you have any questions on accessing the library or library resources.

You will find support and advice on our Academic Skills pages covering useful study skills such as: critical thinking, academic integrity (referencing and avoiding plagiarism), information management, presentation skill, exam technique and research skills.

You can also book appointments for writing support and general academic skills support.

The Avenue Library & Learning Commons will remain closed. This decision was guided by the need to make additional short-term space available for teaching and learning, and difficulties ensuring the Library & Learning Commons would be COVID-secure for staff and students. Academics, researchers and students will be able to access library resources via our digital library, including ebooks, journal articles, films and TV clips, current and historical newspapers and digitised items on reading list. From the start of term, print Course Collection material held at Avenue will be available on a one week loan period from the Click & Collect service, with collection at Hartley.

You can request books via Click & Collect using the Place Hold option in WebCat: login to WebCat, and search for the book you need. If there is a list of results, select the record for the appropriate book and click Place Hold (on the left of the screen).

We will let you know by email when your book(s) are ready and you can collect them when the library is open. You must receive the confirmation email before you come to collect your books. Books must be collected within 7 days of the confirmation email being received. Please bring your University ID card to issue the books on the self-issue machines and remember that face coverings must be worn.

You will not have access to study space in the libraries, or to browse for books when using Click & Collect.

Please contact us at libenqs@soton.ac.uk if you have any questions.

We’re pleased to be able to welcome back researchers who need access to our collections of archival material and rare books for their research to our Searchroom service from Tuesday 29 September.

Opening hours: This service will be open on Tuesday-Thursday 1000-1500, by prior appointment only (via Archives@soton.ac.uk)

Booking an appointment: All visitors will be required to book their visit and order their material (archives and rare books) at least 5 working days in advance without exception. These visits are booked via the Archives email: Archives@soton.ac.uk. Please contact the Archives for information on using the Archives and Rare Books Searchroom service.

Length of booking: The visits will normally be for one whole day, but could be divided into morning (1000-1220) or afternoon (1240-1500) only sessions.

Confirmation of appointment: You will be given an email confirmation of your appointment with the Archives service which you should bring with you to show at the Library entrance on arrival. No visitor will be admitted to the Library or to the Archives Searchroom without this confirmation of appointment, so please do not travel if you have not booked.

Safety measures in place: Masks must be worn whilst moving around the Library building and in the Archives Searchroom.

Ordering material: The number of items that can be accessed during a visit is restricted to 6 items. We will accept an order of up to 10 items, the additional being alternative documents in case any of your first choice are unavailable, such as being used by another researcher.